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Pasta with Pesto Pantesco


This unusual pesto is from Pantelleria and is made with their famed capers, summer-ripe tomatoes and almonds.  It is perfect for a hot summer’s day as it requires little kitchen time!



4 large, ripe tomatoes, about 2 pounds

Kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

½ cup fresh basil leaves

½ cup fresh parsley leaves

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons capers (drained if in water; soaked and rinsed if in salt)

½ cup raw almonds, roughly chopped

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound of your favorite pasta


Peel the tomatoes: Fill a pot large enough to hold the tomatoes with water and bring to a boil. On each tomato, cut an ‘X’ (about 2 inches in length) in the bottom of the tomato using a sharp knife. Drop in the boiling water for 30 seconds and remove.  When cool enough to handle, peel the skin away from the tomatoes.  Roughly dice the tomatoes, removing any seeds. Place in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit for about 15 minutes to allow excess moisture to drain out.

In a blender or food processor, place the garlic, basil, parsley, mint, capers, and almonds. Process until roughly chopped. Add in the chopped tomatoes and the olive oil to the blender or food processor and blend until smooth but still a little bit chunky.  Transfer to a bowl. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.  Allow to sit at room temperature while you prepare the pasta.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until just al dente. Drain.

Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and toss with the pesto. Drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and serve!